NHTSA Investigating Gear Selector in Jeep Grand Cherokee, Possibly Other Models

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints that gear selector handles on Jeep Grand Cherokees may slip out of park and cause the car to roll away, Automotive News is reporting.

Owners have detailed several complaints to NHTSA who said their Grand Cherokees rolled away while parked, including one person in Michigan who said a child was injured exiting the rollaway vehicle.

A similar transmission selector was used in the 2014 Chrysler 300. An owner complained of a similar problem in that car, where it rolled away and crashed into two other vehicles.

Chrysler changed the transmission selector in 2015 in both cars, but it’s unclear if the investigation or owner complaints prompted the switch. Many people (including yours truly) thought the handle was slightly confusing to use, and several NHTSA complaints echo that sentiment.

According to the agency, roughly 408,000 cars could be impacted by a potential recall.

As part of its settlement with the government, an independent monitor will review Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s handling of recalls for two years.

We reached out to FCA for comment on the investigation, but haven’t heard back.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the safety administration that is investigating the complaints. It is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Aug 25, 2015

    My wife's 14 GC has this shifter. The biggest issue we've had (in two years) is that, sometimes, if you are trying to K turn or back out of the garage quickly, you end up in neutral instead of drive. This is an electronic shift selector made to look like a mechanical selector. If you are unfamiliar with the "feel" of an electronic selector, you will need to make a conscious effort to look at the dashboard and verify what gear you are really in. It's not that hard. I'm filing this under "user-error".

  • Cbrworm Cbrworm on Aug 26, 2015

    BMW has been using a similar shifter for a number of years. For better or worse, if the car is in gear with a door open and the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal, it immediately jams it into park while rolling.

  • Kwik_Shift I'll just drive my Frontier into the ground as planned. Possibly find an older "fun" car to collect.
  • Lorenzo The solution is so simple: if the driver shifts into neutral without applying the parking brake, the horn sounds and lights flash until the parking brake is applied. After the third time, the driver should be insulted by a voice saying, "Shouldn't your wife be driving?", or "Where did you get your license - Dollar Store?"
  • Akear About 7 years ago crazy Mary said there is no future for Hybrids and GM would concentrate on EVs. Barra has an amazing ability to make the wrong decisions on just about every issue. I used to think Rick Wagoneer and Roger smith were the biggest GM idiots. I am not so sure now.
  • GBJT I’ll keep my 2021 Tundra and wouldn’t buy a 2022 Tundra due to the twin turbo V6 and transmission.
  • 2manyvettes Um, somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I clearly remember a story about used EV's in China rotting away in a field somewhere because nobody wanted to buy them, much less dealers wanting to sell them. Anyone, anyone, Bueller,Bueller?
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